alexa A history of interpersonal trauma and the gynecological exam.
Reproductive Medicine

Reproductive Medicine

Clinics in Mother and Child Health

Author(s): Ackerson K

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Abstract Cervical cancer is preventable, in part, by routine Papanicolaou (Pap) testing, but some women avoid routine screening. African American women have the greatest mortality among all groups of women in the United States. Personal reasons have been found to contribute to screening avoidance behavior, such as a history of sexual abuse and intimate partner violence. Fifteen African American women with a trauma history participated in personal interviews. The Interaction Model of Client Behavior was employed for exploring the women's social influence, previous health care experience, cognitive appraisal, affective response, and motivation associated with routine Pap testing. Study findings suggest that providers need to assess and provide accurate information about Pap testing and cervical cancer to increase patients' knowledge. Personally reflecting on one's approach to conducting a woman's gynecologic exam (and how it is performed) might prevent triggering unwanted memories, making that visit a positive experience and facilitating repeat screening behavior. This article was published in Qual Health Res and referenced in Clinics in Mother and Child Health

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